[Story] Fairsong Academy – Braedra’s Journal

I went to the city last night with Hethurin’s father. The girls helped me do my hair and picked out a dress, though I’m not sure if it was fancy enough. I felt a little frumpy next to all of the ladies at the theater, but I can’t say I remember the last time I got to go, so it was exciting all the same. We went to eat first, a place we surely never could have afforded before. They had a lot of different seafood dishes, so I thought I’d be adventurous and try some. I like fish quite a lot, but that’s from the stream so I wasn’t sure if it would be the same. As a little girl we used to get fried clams sometimes when we went to the beach in the summer, but now I think all of those houses are gone. I tried crab, it came with a steak too so I figured if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t go hungry, but it was quite nice. It was light and sweet, not fishy or salty at all, and it came with a little bowl of butter to put on it. Isturon had scallops, which are a sort of clam, but they’re very tender and delicate. The wine there was lovely as well, and he said that Hethurin has similar at the school. He must be saving it for a special occasion, I’ll have to ask Terellion if we could have some, perhaps at the spring ball. We just had time for dessert before we had to leave, I had a berry custard, I thought about getting the cake but I’m sure it wasn’t as nice as Terellion’s.

We talked about the children a lot, he told me about how Hethurin had a difficult time when he was younger, because of his sister and all of the expectations put on him. I don’t blame him all for rebelling, I think I would have done the same thing! I certainly wouldn’t have forced Terellion to marry some girl, even if he hadn’t told me he wasn’t interested in them. I think those sort of things shouldn’t be decided by your parents, Isturon seemed to agree so perhaps it was his wife’s idea. Even so, he could have said something. He told me about his sisters, and asked about where I grew up. It turns out we weren’t that far away, I wonder if I ever met him back then, of course I don’t remember it now. He suggested that we go to dinner again, but wanted to invite the rest of the family with. I think it’s a lovely idea, I know the girls would adore going to a fancy grown-up place, but I did think it a little strange. You don’t usually invite children along to dates, do you? Maybe it isn’t, and I’m completely misreading everything.

The play was wonderful. It was a romance about a young lady who felt stifled by her life of nobility, and ran away to join some pirates. After some misadventures, naturally she fell in love with the handsome and dashing captain. Maybe it was a little silly and predictable, but I liked it, and it was so exciting being surrounded by all of those people all experiencing it at the same time. I’d like to go again, but I’m sure the tickets were expensive. And I feel bad because I didn’t even get him a gift for the goblin holiday. I am not even sure what he’d want? I also think I might go into town to speak to Lani’s husband. He suggested it again, and assured me that anything I tell him is confidential. It might be a good idea, the girls like to give advice but I’m not sure how good it is. Although I still wonder how much a man would understand a woman’s perspective, but Isturon says he can.


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Heart’s Tempest

“Xarola!” Sorelle knocked on her friend’s door, though it was late she could see the candle-light glowing underneath the door. She was often up reading, or making notes on herbs in her little notebook.

“”What’s wrong?” asked Xarola as she opened the door, inviting Sorelle inside. “Did Salenicus come?”

Xarola’s room was bright and colorful, herbs tied into bundles and hung to dry from every available space. She and Vynlorin often went into the woods together to look for them, and now in the winter spent a lot of time in the greenhouse with their cuttings. It was nice that they had something like that to do together. Salenicus showed an interest in learning about plants, she hoped that he would help her with the seedlings in the spring. But it would probably be a long time before they could go on walks together, at least while he was a ranger.

“Not yet,” replied Sorelle, sitting down in Xarola’s comfortable chair. The arms had bundles of icecap and mint tied to them, lending it a fresh and cool scent. “I think he will be later. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“From what I saw, things were going pretty well,” Xarola said, grinning.

If Sorelle could have blushed, she would be. “I guess so.”

“I saw dancing. And kissing.”

“That’s true,” Sorelle said. There had been, and it seemed that Salenicus had been practicing — he seemed more sure of his steps, more confident. And he hadn’t stepped on her feet once. “We tried the wine too. He said it was allowed, but I didn’t really taste it anyway.”

“So?” Xarola asked, sitting in the other chair. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I mean, I just wanted to ask if you had any more books about the ranger and the mage. He said he liked the last one.”

“I told you he would,” said Xarola. She looked over the small bookshelf, taking a few off and looking at the covers. “Here. This one’s by the same writer, but different characters. He should like it too though.”

Sorelle looked at the cover, where a ranger and mage embraced on a cliff in front of a storm. Wind whipped their hair and the mage’s dress artfully behind them. “Heart’s Tempest” was the title. “Thanks,” she said, trying not to sound too doubtful. Sorelle liked to read them, but she knew they weren’t very realistic, people didn’t talk or act like that in real life. Especially not Salenicus. Most of the time he wanted to talk about patrol, which was interesting, but not very romantic. Maybe he just didn’t know what he was supposed to say, Sorelle could relate because she didn’t know either. There had been boys at her school in Dalaran, but that was different. Salenicus wasn’t a student, he was older — and an elf. He was above schoolboy pranks and notes left in study books.

“Your dress was really pretty,” Xarola said, and Sorelle smiled a little. She’d spent so much time on it, she was glad that someone had noticed. Thankfully, Salenicus had too. And no one had stared at her during the dance, they’d all been busy dancing or talking. They’d danced inside, with all of the lights and music and decoration, and it hadn’t been so bad. She could probably do it again. But the next dance wouldn’t be until spring. That gave her plenty of time to work on a new dress.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Seline’s Diary

Dear Diary,

There’s so much homework here! I heard some of the other students saying there’s actually not that much compared to their old schools. I can’t even imagine how they had time to eat or sleep before, then. I suppose it would go faster if I understood it better. Magical theory is really complicated and magical history seems like it all runs together and I can’t keep everything straight. I tried making cards to try to remember things better, that works for a while but then it seems I forget it all again. It’s also difficult to do all my fire and arcane foundation homework when I really want to just work on my frost. It’s not the teachers’ fault, they seem nice and everything, but I just would rather work on frost. I know it’s important to understand all schools, because they interact with each other, and also it’ll be on the final exams. But it seems like my fire and arcane homework always take twice as long.

I have my own room, and we have a sheet for times on the shower so I don’t really see the other girls in the bathroom often either. Sometimes I think about trying to talk to them, but I don’t know what we’d talk about. They’re probably doing advanced fire spells while I’m still in baby foundation and history classes. Anything I said would probably sound dumb. I write to my father every week and he always asks if I have made any friends, as if that was the reason I came here. Except I know that’s part of it, he said a smaller school would be better for me because it wouldn’t be as many people. But how am I supposed to know who would be a good friend just by looking? It seems like a poor way of choosing. The other boy who started at the same time as me seems to have made friends already though. So maybe I’m just really bad at it (but who didn’t know that).

That boy did come to study with me. Except I feel bad about it now, because I really didn’t feel like it. I don’t think it was on purpose, but I was hungry and I went to the main house to get something to eat while I read. I think it’s easier to focus if your stomach isn’t growling. Anyway he was really upset with me and kept doing other things like looking at books and getting wine. I don’t think he’s much older than me, he shouldn’t be drinking wine. I don’t want to have too much and do something foolish, but maybe he doesn’t care. Finally we worked on our worksheet, but it was weird the whole time. I don’t know if he’ll want to study again. It does help to have someone to compare answers with, but it’s also bad because I feel silly if I get too many wrong and he doesn’t. He talked about the ball coming up, they’re having one for the fake goblin holiday. The one about love, where you’re supposed to go with your date and kiss and stuff. I definitely don’t want to hang around for that, I told him I’ll take some food and go back to my room. He did say there would be chocolates too.


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Diary

Dear Diary,

Maybe Xarola was right after all… I can’t tell her that though, or she’ll want me to follow her advice on everything. I think most of her advice she gets out of those books, and I hardly think it would work in real life, especially with Salenicus because he’s not like the guys in them. But she was right about going to visit him there, it seems. I didn’t think it would make any difference, but he did seem a lot more talkative and less nervous there. I went along with Magister Firewind when he was going to refresh the wards. When we got there, he just sat down and started eating some cookies in the sitting room. I mean, I don’t blame him, they looked like good cookies. But I guess he’ll look at the wards after he’s not hungry anymore. Or maybe he was just giving me extra time to talk, that was thoughtful of him. Salenicus said that sometimes he talks to his father as well. That makes sense, though from what I’ve heard Magister Firewind say, he doesn’t get along with him well at all, so I’m not sure why he’d spend a lot of time talking to him. Salenicus said it’s sad that they don’t get along, and one day they will regret fighting so much. I think he’s right, but it’s hard for alive people to remember that I think. They don’t see the other side of things like we do, and of course they aren’t going to want an undead person telling them what to do. So I didn’t say anything about it, not there or on the way home. He’s smart enough to figure it out on his own.

When we got there I didn’t see Salenicus anywhere so I sort of stood around feeling foolish until one of the other rangers told me where to find him. I guessed it was Sunashe because he had a sweater with lizards on it. I did what he said, following the little path out the east end of the building into the forest and following it around the little pond. It was a pretty far walk, next time I’ll need to bring boots I think so my shoes don’t get all muddy. There are a lot of pine trees, and some stone ruins. They had to be troll ruins, at least, they didn’t look like any elf ruins I’ve ever seen. And there were symbols and things carved into them. I found Salenicus sitting on a ledge, working on carving things. I was afraid to startle him and make him cut himself or something, so I just stood there for a minute. He was working on carving some little figures for Rylad’s birthday, some rangers and animals. He should definitely make sure some of them are tigers, he likes those. They looked pretty good, though I know they weren’t finished yet. He’s getting pretty good at carving.

I brought two shirts that I made. They’re quicker than dresses but he was still surprised that I’d finished them so soon. I have a lot of extra time at night. I’m not sure if they fit properly though, so I told him I could change the pattern if they’re not right. I made them with nice fabric, so he probably shouldn’t wear them under his armor because I think they might get smudged or dirty if he did that. Though I guess I could make some white ones, he said he had some for that though. Next time Tik goes into the city, I’ll have to ask if he can find some nice fabric for men’s shirts. Maybe something with patterns on it.

I wonder if there are any troll ghosts here? I should ask Loralinde, she’s the one who knows a lot about ghosts. Salenicus said he hadn’t seen any, I would guess he would have by now if there were any. I think a troll ghost would be scary. He also said that Orledin liked to go to the other little troll village, because he collects bones there. That’s an odd hobby. I think carving is much better. I told Salenicus I could help him plant some things in the greenhouse if he wanted, and he seemed interested in that. Maybe the rangers could even get a greenhouse, to have vegetables in the winter. It wouldn’t be a bad idea.

~ Sorelle

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Seline’s Diary

Dear Diary,

I’ve got my room now, and classes start back after the winter break tomorrow. I’ll write about my room first: It’s in the girls’ building, and there are a lot of other rooms is here. Not all of them are full, but a lot are. I do have to share a bathroom with the room on the other side, but at least the door locks so I don’t have to worry about anyone coming in while I’m using it. I haven’t talked to any of the other students yet, the lady in charge seems nice enough if a bit strict. You have to turn off lights when she says, and you’re not allowed to have pets or boys in the building. Those rules make sense, I also hope it won’t be too loud during study time, but she seems like the kind of person who would keep things quiet.

I was pretty nervous about going to the ball. I’ve never been to a real ball before, only small ones when I was little and I barely remember those. Nothing fancy like this. There are so many people, students as well as teachers and some rangers were there too. I’d read about them in the brochure, but I didn’t think I’d be seeing them so soon. They all had a lot of armor on, and some had weapons, I guess that’s to make sure nothing happened at the ball. It scared me a little bit, I mean, why would you have people there with weapons if there was nothing to worry about? I thought about changing my mind, but my father already signed all the papers so I guess it’s too late. Besides, this is one of the only schools that has a good frost program, and it’s the smallest. I know I want to go to a smaller school, I can’t even imagine what it would be like with hundreds of students around all the time.

There was so much food, put out on different tables. It seemed like everyone was getting some, so I did as well. While I was putting some on my plate, a boy saw me and he said we weren’t allowed to take any from that table. How was I supposed to know! There wasn’t a sign or anything. He started to put his back, but I pointed out that was even worse. You can’t touch food at a party and then put it back, there’s germs. So we hurried and found a place to sit down, I don’t think anyone saw us. Most people were too busy talking or dancing. A lot of people here have really expensive robes. He has blond hair too, and he wears glasses. He’s studying frost as well, which means I’ll probably see him a lot in my classes. I’m glad there’s one person that I sort of know now. Well, I don’t really know him. I don’t know his name or anything. But I know who he is. Father said I’d have to meet new people here and I know he’d want me to talk to him, and other people, but I never know what to say. I always feel dumb when I say things and then they just stand there and look at me. He wants to study together, a few times a week. I know it’s probably a good idea, especially if I’m stuck on things. I worry that I’m not going to understand anything and it’ll be too difficult and I’ll get kicked out. Having someone to help me would be a good idea, especially since I’m sure the teachers are busy a lot. I’m worried they will be mean, but the boy said they’re not. He said the frost teacher is really nice, and his assistant used to be a student here. I just don’t know, he was kind of pushy about it, like he kept insisting and he even told me the days and time. I didn’t want to say no, but I didn’t really want to say yes, either. What if I am doing something else that day? What if I had a stressful day and I just don’t want to talk to anyone? That can happen sometimes.

“You need to make friends, Seline.” That’s what Father would say. He’s right, it’s not easy though.


[Art/Story] Character of the Week: Loralinde

[[ Loralinde is a fire student at Fairsong Academy, whose favorite hobby is studying ghosts! ]]

Loralinde paused as she ascended the stairs to ensure that Haani was still behind her. The school was large and very easy to get lost in, especially if you hadn’t been there long. Loralinde remembered her own little tricks that she’d used to find her way around — she’d remember the pattern of the wallpaper to recognize which corner was which. Some other students drew maps, that was probably simpler.

Haani’s hoofsteps echoed on the wooden staircase, impossibly loud in the stillness of the hallway. She paused, looking a little sheepish. “It’s just a bit further,” Loralinde said, beckoning Haani up to the landing. It was exciting to be the one showing her around, after Haani had guided her through the tombs in Auchindoun. While Keyalenn was always interested in hearing about her studies, it wasn’t really the same. Haani understood, she had the same keen interest in spirits and learning about them that she did. Loralinde was so thankful that the headmaster had agreed to let her visit — and that her brother had, as well. They’d both been at the winter ball, but they kept to themselves and didn’t really mix with anyone else. She hoped that in time, they’d both feel a little more comfortable, but it couldn’t be easy being around people so different. At the very least, she’d seen Haani talking with Lali, the kaldorei teacher.

“Are you liking the school so far?” Loralinde asked, hoping to fill the silence.

“Yes,” Haani nodded, running her hand along the polished wooden railing. “It is very large.”

What were Draenei schools like? Did they even go to school? Of course they do, Loralinde scolded herself. How else would they learn to read and do magic and everything else? She imagined they must look similar to the architecture of Shattrath. “When it’s a little warmer outside, the gardens are very nice,” Loralinde said. “And we could go into the woods, there are some ghosts there, but I haven’t been able to speak to them yet.”

“Oh?” Haani seemed interested in that.

Loralinde nodded, removing the key from her pocket. This room was normally kept locked, but the headmaster had allowed her to have a key because of how much time she spent with the house ghosts. They trusted her, but it was still wise to be cautious whenever they met new people — especially someone so different looking. Loralinde peered through the door. Ellavia, the little girl ghost, sat before the fireplace, playing with her toys. She was fully visible, and Haani gasped in surprise.

“Ellavia?” Loralinde asked, closing the door behind them. “I’ve a new friend for you to meet. Her name is Haani.”

The little girl ghost raised her eyes to Haani, and Loralinde saw her outline flicker briefly as she began to dissipate. “Oh, don’t be afraid,” Loralinde said gently. “She’s a friend. I’ve been telling her all about you, and she’s very excited to meet you.”

Ellavia hovered just above where she had been sitting, watching Haani uncertainly. “You look funny,” she said at last. Haani was so surprised to hear a ghost speak clearly that it took her a moment to answer.

“I’m a Draenei,” she explained. “From Outland.” Ellavia’s suspicious look still lingered.

“It’s a place far away from here,” Loralinde explained. “But it’s very beautiful. I could bring you a book about it, if you want.”

Ellavia nodded, her form appearing more solid again as she settled down with her dolls again. She was manipulating objects as well! All of the major signs of ghost interaction, and Haani was getting to see them all at once. Loralinde felt oddly proud of Ellavia.

“Do you want to play dolls?” she asked.

Haani smiled. “Yes, I love dolls.”



[Story] Fairsong Academy – The Letter

“I got in!” Tystus waved the letter excitedly. “I really got in!”

Teloth stopped reading long enough to glance over at his younger brother. “Is that the one that gave discounts to arcane and frost students?”

Tystus frowned. “I mean, yes, but it’s still not easy to get in. I don’t see you going to mage school.”

“Well, lucky for you I’ve already been looking for a job out there.”

Tystus blinked. “What? Why?”

“You know why,” said Teloth.

Because their mother still thought of Tystus as a little child. He wasn’t that much younger than Teloth, yet she fussed and worried over him if he so much as got a hair out of place. It’s true he’d been ill when he was younger, but he was perfectly fine now. And the last thing he wanted was Teloth hanging around all the time. He wanted to be his own person, instead of Teloth’s little brother.

“Thanks, but I’ll be fine,” Tystus said shortly, folding the paper back into its envelope. Also included was a flyer advertising the school and its courses. Though it was far out in the countryside, the grounds looked nice, and it offered a wide variety of courses. And, yes, an incentive for arcane and frost students. Tystus had completed most of his foundation courses and had already begun simple illusions. The letter encouraged Tystus to attend the upcoming winter ball to speak with the headmaster and meet some of the other students.

“Oh yeah?” Teloth looked over again over the top of his book. “What if you get your blood sucked out by a bat or something?”

Tystus twitched an ear. “There are wards,” he pointed out. “And rangers that patrol the area.”

“I know.” Teloth leaned back in his chair, his arms crossed. “That’s where I applied.”

“You don’t know how to be a ranger.” Finally, something Teloth the Amazing wasn’t good at.

“No, but I do know how to take care of hawkstriders. There’s a stablemaster position open. I think it’s just down the road from your school?”

Tystus felt his ears warm angrily, but didn’t want to let Teloth know he’d annoyed him. “If you get it,” he pointed out.

His brother shrugged. “True, but I don’t see why I wouldn’t. I’ll be sure to mention my kid brother is attending the magic school, and mother asked me to keep an eye on him.”

“You wouldn’t.” But he knew he would. At least Teloth wouldn’t be around all the time. He couldn’t let this take away from his achievement, and his excitement. It was still a big deal to be accepted to a real magic school, and he did look forward to meeting everyone there. He hoped the teachers would be nice, they certainly had impressive credentials. The headmaster was the arcane instructor, and one of his former students was his assistant. And maybe Tystus could convince the headmaster not to allow him on the grounds or something. Especially if he was going to smell like hawkstrider poop all the time.